Key Storylines

  • AFRICA: Ethiopian authorities said, “they have unfortunately established rape has taken place conclusively and without a doubt,” in the aftermath of the recent armed conflict in the country’s embattled Tigray region.
  • AMERICAS: The UN said holding elections this year would help Haiti in ending its latest political crisis.
  • ASIA: Three people were wounded in Myanmar amid clashes between supporters of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the police as thousands of protesters continued to defy the new military junta’s call to halt mass gatherings.
  • EUROPE: The UK’s economy contracted by a record 9.9% last year due to the global coronavirus pandemic but looks set to avoid a double-dip recession due to some economic growth in December 2020.
  • MIDDLE EAST: Lebanon’s Prime Minister-designate Saad al Hariri said no progress has been made in talks to form the country’s next government, after months of political wrangling.
  • TECH & COMMUNICATIONS: China banned the BBC World News television channel from airing in the country, a week after threatening to retaliate for the revocation of the British broadcasting license of state-owned Chinese broadcaster CGTN.

Top Story

  • Europe: Russia says it is ready to cut EU ties over sanctions.
    • Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov warned that Moscow is willing to sever ties with the European Union if the 27-country bloc imposes painful economic sanctions on Moscow.
    • Lavrov made the remarks during an interview, saying Russia was “ready for that” when asked if Russia and the EU were heading for a “break”, adding “If you want peace, prepare for war”.
    • There is renewed talk of Western sanctions on Russia due to the imprisonment of Russian opposition politician Alexei Navalny.
    • Russia recently expelled German, Polish, and Swedish diplomats without informing the visiting EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell.
    • Lavrov’s comments also coincided with Navalny’s next court appearance today, this time over allegedly defaming a World War II veteran.
    • Reporting: BBC, DPA, Reuters, WaPo

Africa

  • Region: Uganda has heightened surveillance along its border with DR Congo following the resurgence of the Ebola virus in DR Congo. (Xinhua)
  • Ethiopia: Authorities said, “they have unfortunately established rape has taken place conclusively and without a doubt,” in the aftermath of the recent armed conflict in the country’s embattled Tigray region. (Reuters)
  • Nigeria: Information Minister Lai Mohammed warned activists against holding protests at the site where demonstrators against police brutality were shot last year. (Reuters)

Americas

  • Colombia: The National Liberation Army (ELN) denied reports of planning an attack on the country’s capital city Bogota. (AFP)
  • Ecuador: Hundreds of indigenous people rallied in support of presidential candidate Yaku Perez, who says there was fraud in the weekend election and wants a recount. (AFP)
  • Haiti: The UN said holding elections this year would help the country in ending its latest political crisis. (AFP)
  • Peru: Satellite photos released by NASA show the existence of reportedly illegal gold mining in the country’s Amazon rainforest. (BBC)

Asia  

  • Region: The Mekong River Commission called on China to share all of its water data as it announced that the Mekong river’s water levels have fallen to “worrying levels”, partly due to outflow restrictions from Chinese hydropower dams. (Reuters)
  • China: State television included dancers in blackface to portray people from Africa during a national broadcast of new year festivities. (AP)
  • Myanmar: Three people were wounded amid clashes between supporters of ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi and the police as thousands of protesters continued to defy the new military junta’s call to halt mass gatherings. (Reuters)
  • North Korea: Kim Jong Un openly accused his Cabinet of failing to deal with the country’s mounting economic issues. (DPA)
  • Pakistan: Four soldiers and four militants died when a group of militants attacked a security post in the border town of Makeen in a former Taliban stronghold near Afghanistan. (AP)

Europe

  • Region: Fourteen people with a likely “connection or sympathy with” the Islamic State group were arrested in Denmark and Germany over suspicions of planning a terrorist attack. (AP)
  • Czech Republic: Lawmakers dismissed Prime Minister Andrej Babiš’ warning of a healthcare collapse as Parliament voted against extending the country’s coronavirus state of emergency. (Reuters)
  • Ukraine: Two soldiers were killed in clashes with Russian-backed separatists, marking the worst recent outbreak of fighting in the country’s ongoing conflict. (AFP)
  • United Kingdom: The country’s economy contracted by a record 9.9% last year due to the global coronavirus pandemic but looks set to avoid a double-dip recession due to some economic growth in December 2020. (BBC)

Middle East

  • Region: The UK, Germany, and France jointly condemned a drone strike by Yemen’s Houthi rebels on the airport in the Saudi Arabian city of Adha. (AFP)
  • Lebanon: Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri said that no progress has been made in talks to form the country’s next government, after months of political wrangling. (Reuters)
  • Yemen: The UN said half of the country’s children under the age of five are in danger of dying of acute malnutrition. (AFP)

Tech & Communications

  • Media: China banned the BBC World News television channel from airing in the country, a week after threatening to retaliate for the revocation of the British broadcasting license of state-owned Chinese broadcaster CGTN. (AP)

World

  • Cyclones: Nothing to report.
  • Hurricanes: Nothing to report.
  • Earthquakes: Nothing to report.
  • Volcanoes: Nothing to report.
  • Global Disease Outbreaks:
    • COVID-19 Coronavirus Disease: Global (as of 12FEB21)
      • Confirmed cases: 107,848,144
      • Total recovered cases: 60,372,039
      • Deaths: 2,370,280
      • Countries with confirmed cases: 192
      • Sourcing: John Hopkins University

Tomorrow’s Outlook (13FEB21)

  • Global: The UN’S World Radio Day – 2013.
  • Germany: Far-right groups are expected to hold demonstrations during a vigil commemorating the victims of the World War II extensive aerial bombardment of the city of Dresden.
  • Nigeria: Anti-police brutality protests could be held in the city of Lagos.
  • Senegal: Swiss Federal Councilor Ignazio Cassis will visit and meet with President Macky Sall and Foreign Minister Aissata Tall Sall.
  • United Kingdom: The regional Plaid Cymru party will hold a conference on determining its independence policy for Wales.

END